How to do the rick roll dance

How to Dance Like Rick Astley

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By: Robert Russell Updated September 15, 2017

“Never Gonna Give You Up” made Rick Astley a star in 1987. The video showcased Astely’s soulful voice accompanied by ’80s-style dance moves. His dance style was more reserved and subdued compared to other 1980s pop stars of the day. Astley started his musical career as a drummer, and his dance moves are similar to how a drummer accentuates the beat of a song. Astley uses arms, hands and legs to accentuate the beat rather than using the beat to showcase his dancing chops.

The "Rickrolling" Dance Craze

Rick Astley’s dance style became a global sensation in 2007 because of a bizarre Internet prank. People who clicked on various websites including sites for Radiohead and an anti-Scientology website were surprised to see Astley’s 1987 “Never Gonna Give You Up” video pop up. The prank came to be labeled “rickrolling.” Astley’s video has had millions of hits since 2007 and made his dancing style more popular than it was in the ‘80s. Astley’s dance style is appealing for a couple of reasons: It has a retro quality to it, and it is not terribly complicated.

The Lower Body

Astley’s lower body is the foundation of his dance style. He slightly bends his knees as he rotates his hips back and forth. Depending on the song, he often thrusts his hips upward as he sways from side to side. He uses hip thrusts for his more danceable tunes. He pushes up with the knees to give a little more power to the hip thrusts. Astley’s hip movements and hip thrusts are subdued compared to Elvis. He moves his hips and lower body in a smooth rhythmic pattern that is in sync with the beat.

The Upper Body

Astley swings his arms and elbows back and forth with the rhythm. He typically uses two general patterns with slight variations. He uses one pattern for the verses of the songs and a different pattern for the choruses. He bends his arms at the elbows and keeps them close to his body at about waist level. He usually swings his arms back and forth to the beat in an eighth-note pattern. He alternates the eighth-note movements with triplet movements now and then. Triplets are three notes per beat. He uses a slightly different pattern on the chorus to accentuate the lyric of the song. He often raises his arm above his head on beat one, and then returns it to the original position.

Accentuate With the Hands

Astley adds a final touch to his dance style with various types of hand movements. His hands accentuate the beat and punctuate different points of the songs for dramatic emphasis. Sometimes his hands form a loosely clenched fist with thumbs pointed straight. This is similar to how a drummer holds drumsticks. He often rotates his wrists in a circular pattern as he swings his arms and elbows back and forth opening his hands at certain parts of the song to emphasize a lyric. A second pattern he uses is a variation on the first one. He raises one hand above his head with the index finger pointed straight on beat one of the chorus. He then brings his arms and elbows back to waist level spreading his arms with his palms open.

Improvisation and Freestyle

Astley’s dance style has a free-flowing element to it. In other words, he relies on feeling and improvisation rather than following a choreographed script note for note. This becomes more obvious if you compare the original music video of “Never Gonna Give You Up” with live performances of the same song. Don’t worry about learning his dance moves step by step. Focus on developing a natural groove or feel that mimics his basic style. “Never Gonna Give You Up” was followed by other hits such as “My Arms Keep Missing You,” “Whenever You Need Somebody” and “It Would Take a Strong Man.” His moves on the slower tunes are more minimal than the faster dance tunes. His live performances tend to emphasize vocals over dance. His moves serve to complement the overall feel of the song.

Writer Bio

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.

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The Untold Truth Of Rickrolling

By Rani Baker/Updated: Feb. 7, 2022 3:09 pm EST

Rickrolling started out as a MySpace-era prank and became one of the first internet memes to successfully break into the mainstream since Ally McBeal danced with a CGI baby. We've known about it for so long. Our hearts have been aching to tell the story, but until now, we were too shy to say it. Inside, we both know what's been going on. We know the game and we're gonna play it.

In the beginning, it was indecipherable forum in-joke nonsense

Rickrolling is a bait-and-switch prank that got its start in 2007 on an internet forum called 4chan. Instead of sending someone an image of a duck with wheels, a user made them watch the music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. We're not exactly sure where to start to attempt to have that make sense, but here goes.

4chan is an anonymous, image-heavy American internet forum modeled after the Japanese anime forum 2chan. Founded by Christopher Poole (forum name: m00t) when he was 15, the forum members frequently played pranks on each other and indulged in early attempts at what basically became what we know as internet culture today. At one point, moot installed a word filter on the forum that changed every instance of the word "egg" to "duck." This then changed every instance of the word "eggroll" to the word "duckroll," which forum denizens then decided should be represented by a duck with wheels. This then evolved into a bait-and-switch prank where people would post links with clickbaity titles that would lead anyone clicking them to said duckwheel image. If you don't get the "joke," that makes two of us, but hey — we're just reporting the facts here.

Then came the trailer for the then-new Grand Theft Auto IV, which was so popular it crashed the Rockstar Games website. An enterprising 4channer put out a video on YouTube in May 2007 pretending to be the new GTA4 trailer, but instead was the video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," and thus, the Rickroll was born.

The reason for choosing this video in particular are unclear. Know Your Meme has posited that the juxtaposition of the soulful baritone in the song with Astley's youthful scrawny ginger looks may have contributed some unintentional hilarity to suddenly having that video pop up onscreen. It's notable that according to Vh2's Pop-Up Video, even record producers didn't believe Astley's voice was real at first. Or maybe it's just because of the cheesy '80s look and goofy dancing. In any case, the original Rickroll video is sitting at 76 million views and Astley's official version of the video is at 228 million, as of the time of this writing, and there's literally no way to tell who is watching it ironically or not.

Rick Astley was baffled by it at first, but joined in the fun in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

While the phenomenon was brewing on the internet, Rick Astley was completely unaware of it until he was actually Rickrolled himself by a friend. He didn't get it. He didn't even understand at first that it was supposed to be a prank at all, and wasn't sure what sharing his music in this context even meant. Was it making fun of him? What was the joke? As the pranks escalated in scale, with members of 4chan's Anonymous activists blasting the song through boomboxes at Scientology protests, he began to be a bit creeped out by this bizarre internet thing attached to his song.

He eventually warmed up to it, however, even if all these millions of video shares only earned him whatever the British version of Taco Bell money is in YouTube ad revenue. "I think it's just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it," he told the Los Angeles Times. By Thanksgiving 2008, he was ready to join in the fun himself, making a surprise appearance performing the song on the Macy's Day Parade float for the Cartoon Network series Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends. All things considered, the appearance seems to have done more for Astley's career than the cartoon itself, which was canceled less than a year later. Bummer.

For April Fools' Day, YouTube made every video a Rickroll

Depending on the kind of person you are, April Fools' Day is either your most or least favorite day to get on the internet. Every major website has elaborately planned pranks set up that either delight, confuse, and inspire you to have fun watercooler talks on break, or actually make your day that much more tedious by having to root through the piles of deliberately fake news crossing your social media feed.

Rickrolling has been incorporated into internet April Fools' traditions since the beginning, even by politicians such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. YouTube took it up a notch, however, booby-trapping every featured video on the site to go directly to the Rick Astley video above. Great fun for them, but probably not so much for folks trying to monetize their own YouTube videos that day.

A college student's amateur film project Rickroll fooled the New York Times

While instances of Rickroll pranking were in full swing, a particular video caught the attention of the New York Times, who used it as a centerpiece for a 2008 piece on the phenomenon itself. Recorded by then-film student Pawl Fisher, it depicted a women's basketball timeout being hijacked by pranksters blasting the song over the PA system. The video is displayed on the scoreboard and a young man dressed in an approximation of Astley's preppy outfit dances through the bleachers onto the court, lip-synching the song. Members of the audience exchange bewildered stares but soon begin to dance along, as the cheerleading team adjusts their routine to follow the beat. It looks totally fun, and is also totally fake.

The video itself was recorded over the course of several games, and most of the audience reactions had nothing to do with the lip-synching dancer, who only performed once before a game. Clever edits and camera angles brought the whole thing together, which itself wasn't really intended to become as big a sensation as it did. Fisher himself, who appears in the video as the scrawny Rick Astley impersonator, has since become a huge bodybuilder and his film work has shifted from viral comedy videos to documenting his intense workout regimen, which was nowhere near the plot twist we were expecting.

Nancy Pelosi created a special introductory video for the official House of Representatives YouTube channel

In order to attract attention to the newly created House of Representatives YouTube channel in 2009, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi produced a rather unusual introductory video. It begins by following a couple of cats mulling around in a Capitol office, staring out windows, messing with things (including Pelosi's ceremonial gavel) and getting all over the antique furniture. You know, cat stuff.

Thirty seconds into the shenanigans, you can probably guess what happens. Yes, visitors found themselves Rickrolled by the then-third most powerful person in America. Subsequent videos are distinctly more dry, and like most of our own embarrassing attempts at internet viral novelty, the account seems to have been abandoned years ago, with only a handful of remaining public videos. We kinda wonder what those cats are up to now. Quick, someone upload a video!

The White House would occasionally get in on the fun, too

The Oregon State House created a Rickroll April Fools' video that required bipartisan cooperation

Speaking to NPR in 2011, Democrat Jefferson Smith described the process that went into an April Fools' video the Oregon State House released which had lawmakers reciting Rick Astley lyrics. He reassures everyone that the video editing itself was done by volunteer aides, and not on the taxpayer dollar.

However, it did entail on-the-clock cooperation between several Oregon lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum to each incorporate a snippet of lyrics in their floor speeches, without wasting floor time by deviating from the topic they were speaking on. As such, some phrases were more difficult than others, and it was hard for others to not laugh the first time a lawmaker said "never gonna give you up" on the House floor. In any case, never let anyone tell you that Republicans and Democrats can't compromise.

A web developer broke Vine's servers attempting a Rickroll

Vine is a discontinued video sharing service once associated with Twitter where users composed extremely short looping video clips. The day the Vine app went mobile, web developer Will Smidlein wanted to see how far he could push the software. Cloning some of the Vine API features using his own software and uploading them through a jailbroken iPhone to bypass upload security features, he uploaded the full three and a half minute "Never Gonna Give You Up" video onto software designed for videos 10 seconds long.

As soon as people started sharing the video, Twitter servers began to fail and the 16-year-old Smidlein found himself being contacted frantically by back-end Twitter engineers asking him to take down the video so they could fix things. After removing the video, Smidlein apologized for the stunt. When asked by WKYC Cleveland whether he would strike again, he responded "We'll see," so hopefully nothing happens to this kid to inspire him to go supervillain.

Jack White (not that one) Rickrolled himself for charity

Jack White — the choirmaster from Southampton you've never heard of, rather than the indie rocker you probably forgot existed until just now — had a wild idea for a charity fundraiser. He decided to lock himself in a hotel room for four days with nothing to entertain himself but a consistent stream of the Rick Astley video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" that he was not allowed to turn off. He also resolved not to bathe the whole time, and to subsist on nothing but porridge and water, because why only be sort of miserable, when you can do so much worse to yourself?

All donations were to go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and he intended to livestream the entire ordeal. The latter proved to be difficult, because trolls descended on the livestream, harassing White and his seven-year-old diabetic cousin, who inspired him. White was already struggling with the onslaught of horrible comments, but when they started harassing his cousin, it proved too much, and White stepped down from the challenge. Thankfully, his brother James stepped in and continued the charity drive, and between the two of them, they overcame the donation goal by nearly a quarter, raising £2,486 of a £2,000 target. The campaign itself won the support, of sorts, from Rick Astley himself, who posted about it on his official Facebook page, although even he admitted the stunt sounded crazy.

The Foo Fighters Rickrolled the Westboro Baptist Church in counter-protest

The Westboro Baptist Church is an example of the uglier side of internet organizing. They've organized protests against the homosexual community with pastor Fred Phelps for decades. However, in the late '90s, their infamous offensively-named website whose name we can't say here made them early (and disturbing) internet stars. As the years went by, the church has since branched out to picketing concerts, celebrity and military funerals and even screaming at kids that Santa isn't real, which is just sad.

A frequent target of their protests is the band Foo Fighters, otherwise known as a group of ridiculously nice and charming ex-Nirvana members that wouldn't harm a fly. Even the band itself isn't entirely sure why, but they never backed down at a chance to troll the trolls back on their own turf. While performing in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2011, they arranged an entire impromptu concert across the street from the protest, but in 2015 they planned something a bit more intimate. They parked a pickup truck with the band and friends hanging out and dancing in the bed to the classic Rick Astley song to blow off steam before their performance.

Just goes to show that if you're looking to draw attention to yourself, maybe confronting a rock band isn't your best bet. That's pretty much their job.

After leaving their audience hanging for over a year, the creators of Rick and Morty Rickroll them

Whether you love it, or are confused by it, or both, the creators of the Adult Swim cartoon The Adventures Of Rick And Morty clearly get a perverse pleasure toying with the expectations of their fanbase. Season 3 of the controversial but hugely popular show was confirmed back in fall 2015 before Season 2 was even complete, and fans have been eagerly awaiting its release ever since. On February 20, 2017, Adult Swim teased an exclusive sneak peek at the first episode of the new season ... or did they?

You guessed it: another Rickroll. It quickly became one of the most popular videos on YouTube that day, with fans all over the world queuing up for the disappointment. This didn't exactly go well with all of the fans, but for the others who lost count of how many times co-creator Dan Harmon has smashed their hopes and dreams, and yet they've come back for more ... they're clearly never gonna give Rick and Morty up... never gonna ...

We'll stop now.


Rickroll -

Rick Astley

Rickroll is an Internet phenomenon that develops around the song of the video Never Gonna Give You Up , performed by English singer Rick Astley. It consists in directing the Internet user to the clip in question through a link apparently related to the text he is viewing. We then say that the Internet user has been "scammed". This practice is a variation of another prank called "duck", which similarly leads the user to a photo or video of a roller-skating duck. nine0003

In , this phenomenon has grown significantly and has been mentioned in several media outlets.


  • 1 History of the rickroll phenomenon
  • 2 Astley reaction
  • 3 Notes and references
  • 4 See also
    • 4.1 Related articles

History of the rickroll phenomenon

The rickroll originated from another joke, the "duck", in which a surfer was unwittingly led to a photo or video of a roller duck. Perhaps the purpose of this joke is to add some humor or waste the victim's time. nine0003

The very first rickroll is dated ; On the same day, thousands of Internet users are waiting for the arrival of the first trailer for the video game Grand Theft Auto IV . Once a video is posted online, the servers of its publisher, Rockstar Games, will be overloaded and will no longer be able to distribute the video. On the 4chan forum already known to have been popularized by the duckling, the user then posts an alleged mirror link to that trailer; however, the link does not lead to the video in question, but to the video for song Never Gonna Give You Up .

Video-sharing website YouTube participated in this virtual hoax on 1st - th April 2008, stating all the videos from the main page that of Astley's clip.

Internet users have created a database that lists all the links that turned out to be rickrolls.

In 2008, Rick Astley made a comeback during Cartoon Network's Thanksgiving parade by scrolling on a cart on the streets of New York. nine0003

In July 2011, it is the White House, via its Twitter thread, that contributes to the construction of the building, responding to a comment about the boring side of the current press conference.

At , the video (including copies) has been viewed over a hundred million times on YouTube.

At , the original video has nearly 748 million views on YouTube.

At the cinema in , Disney Studios animated film Ralph 2.0 nods to the rickroll as he plays a clip of his main character at the very end of the credits.

At , a rickroll-inspired emote called "I'll Never Give Up on You" was released in Fortnite Battle Royale featuring dance and music by Rick Astley.

At , Reddit user TheMalleableDuck manages to trick Rick Astley himself with a hyperlink to the video Never Gonna Give You Up . Said hyperlink to the gimmick was hidden in a seemingly innocent post in response to Rick Astley's post (namely, a photo of him on his first tour in 1989, which the singer had just found during covid-19 lockdown). In interested circles, this brilliant upheaval had a certain impact and brought a certain amount of fame to the joking Internet user - some even called him the "legend" of the Internet.

At , on Twitter, YouTube asks internet users what videos they rewatched during 2020. The impostor responds with a puppy video that turns out to be the music video for song Never Gonna Give You Up . This is the first time YouTube has been rickrolled.

Astley reaction

In an interview from , Rick Astley considers this phenomenon "funny". He also clarified that he didn't intend to use it to his advantage by releasing a remix of the song, but he would be happy if other artists did. In the Los Angeles Times blog, he says that he learned about this phenomenon from friends:

“Honestly, it's a little strange when there are videos like this about yourself on the Internet, young man. I'm 42 now, still a little weird. But it's funny. " nine0003

“If it was all about a rock song with lyrics that actually mean something, like God Bless America of Springsteen... or a song that contrasts something, I could almost understand. But as for the pop song, although I don't want to downplay it because I always think it's a great pop song... you know what I mean? There is no message. But maybe that's the irony. "

Notes and links

  1. (in) " You were scammed " on,
  2. (in) Internet's biggest little hoax on wheels hit foxnews. com
  3. ↑ Damien Leloup, " How 'Rickroll' Resurrected the Career of Rick Astley " on Le Monde,
  4. (in) YouTubers RickRolls on
  5. ↑!/whitehouse/status/96291538044329985
  6. ↑
  7. ↑
  8. ↑ [1]
  9. ↑ " " on Twitter (accessed Dec 11, 2020)
  10. ↑ " " on Twitter (accessed Dec 11, 2020)
  11. (at) " Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley ", at LA Times, : "If this happened around some rock song with lyrics that's really something it meant Bruce Springsteen, 'God Bless America'. .. or an anti-something song, I could understand that," Astley said. “But for something like, and I don't want to downplay it because I still think it's a great pop song, but it's a pop song; do you know what i mean? It has no weight as such. But maybe that's the irony. ". nine0020

See also

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Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up single, also known as Rickroll, 35 years old, still popular all over the world. - Articles - Music

Photo: Alamy Stock Photo. Rick Astley at a concert in Munich at 1988 year

How a star lit up

Rick Astley was born on February 8, 1966 in the small town of Newton-le-Willows, located exactly in the middle between Liverpool and Manchester. At the insistence of his mother, at the age of 10, Astley began to sing in the local church choir, and gradually got into the taste, at the age of 15 with friends he organized his first musical group, Give Way, where he acted as a drummer. At the age of 19, in the same role, he joined the local soul band FBI. As part of the new group, he began to write songs, and subsequently stood at the microphone stand when the lead vocalist left the group. At one of the performances at 19In 85, the vociferous young man was noticed by Pete Waterman, who was part of the production trio with Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, who in those years successfully worked with the Dead or Alive group (later they would help conquer the musical Olympus of Kylie Minogue, Samantha Fox, Bananarama, Donna Summer and many others ).

Photo: CoventryLive. Rick Astley with producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman in December 1987

“He had a phenomenal voice. It was like hearing a 40-year-old black man, while in front of you - 19-year-old white pimply boy, ”Waterman later tells in an interview, and then he immediately convinced Astley to sign a contract and move to work in London. Under the guidance of the trio, for about a year the young man was taught the recording process and prepared for his future career: Astley was an extremely talented, but very shy young man.

He will never leave, never cheat, let you down or make you cry

The next year the team worked on Astley's debut album Whenever You Need Somebody, and three months before the full release of the album, on July 27, 19'87 they released the single Never Gonna Give You Up. Although the production trio were not initially enthusiastic about the track, Astley's distinctive deep voice, combined with a rhythmic dance tune, was an immediate success: the dance-pop composition occupied the top of the British charts for five weeks, and then repeated its success throughout Europe with a triumph within a year. As a result, Never Gonna Give You Up became the most popular single of 1987 in the UK, and the artist's debut album became the seventh best-selling record in Albion. nine0003

Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images. Studio portrait of Rick Astley in London, 1987.

The music video for the song was filmed in 1986. “We filmed the video in an old church off London's Westway. All clothes in the video are my own. There were no stylists, I just threw some things into a bag. I really liked this song. I remember thinking to myself, "I'm going to dance to her as if she were playing at a disco in Warrington." I thought she sounded like a hit, and suddenly she was. Yesterday I was making tea for the producers, and the next day it was #1.” The unpretentious video, in which Astley moved amusingly and gently sang that he “will never quit, never cheat, let you down and make you cry”, also gained great popularity. Waterman's initial impression of the guy coincided with the perception of a wide audience: the public could not believe that such a deep voice belonged to a playful, gentle youth. Astley would go on to have a successful career, but would truly enter the annals of history two decades later, when Never Gonna Give You Up became arguably the most famous Internet meme. nine0189


In May 2007, the attention of the Internet community was riveted to the release of the first trailer for the continuation of the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto video game series from Rockstar Games. The anticipation was so high that when Rockstar Games finally put the trailer on its own site, it immediately stopped working due to the influx of users. At the same time, one of the users of the popular anonymous web forum 4chan shared a link to YouTube, by clicking on which, those who wish could allegedly see the long-awaited trailer. The link turned out to be a prank or “prank”: in fact, instead of a video game trailer, it led to the Never Gonna Give You Up video on the YouTube platform. This is how the popular tradition of the Rickroll prank was born - in personal correspondence, web forums and social networks, when the interlocutor needed some information, under the guise of a link to the desired one, the victim was sent a disguised link leading to Astley's clip.

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